18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
blue is the hottest colour
, 29 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Free Fall [DVD] (DVD)
Gay films can be a bit hit or miss but this is the latest in a run of outstanding releases over the last few months, including Monster Pies, Let My People Go!, and Les Invisibles. It's one of those films you look forward to seeing as much the second time as the first, leaving you with a sense of emotion you want to re-enter. The tone is fairly serious, although the relationship between the two police cadets does have an element of ribbing. The plot outline sounds like an identikit drama but it is much more engrossing than this would imply. Hanno Koffler (Marc) is a familiar face from the excellent comedy Summer Storm, where he played a super-confident gay rower; here he is much less sure of himself, as an all but married man, about to be a father, but suddenly taken over by gay desires for a fellow recruit. The latter, called Kay, turns out to be something of a free thinker and rebel, despite his chosen profession, initiating Marc into smoking spliffs. One of these, blown from the mouth of one to the other, leads to the first lip-to-lip contact: a thrilling moment which initially makes Marc jump back when he senses what is really happening. But his instincts soon take over when Kay presses his attentions further in a couple of fairly breathtaking sequences, it has to be said. Some of the scenes do get a real intensity between the actors, which are often fairly short. There is an electric charge that Koffler (in particular) and Max Riemelt are well able to convey, while Katharina Schuttler does well with a less rewarding role as the girlfriend, Bettina. Only Marc really comes across in three dimensions, though (actual 3D could have enhanced it in certain ways - see below!).
Parallels with Brokeback Mountain are there - Bettina even looks a little like Anne Hathaway - but as another reviewer has said this film feels "gayer". Where the visuals tended to the pictorial in Ang Lee's film, here the look is much darker with stark contrast between light and shade, and more up-close; the interiors themselves are a little bland. The camera is not very focused on the setting, but rather on creating mood and emotion, as it prowls after Marc and looms over his shoulder as if it might lick his ear, and you notice his solidity and the marvellous boyish shape of his head. The intimacy between the men is more explicit and joyous, and there is more nudity. In BM you felt Ang Lee was worried he might put off the straight audience, but you don't get the feeling the director Stephan Lacant is unduly concerned with that. In fact Lee's film, with hindsight, seems a little dull in its plodding through the respective family sagas, in a way that this one largely avoids through its sexual exuberance. Koffler does manage to get a lot of intensity and confusion into the role, and I only regret one of the scenes showing his beautiful rear end as he pulls on his pale blue underwear in the showers at the gym got deleted. (A scene with him pushing a lawnmower almost makes up for this, shot from this height.) Fortunately this Peccadillo release allows you to view it - and a number of other out-takes - as an extra.
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